A friend asked me for some recommendations for resources on teaching the Bible to children. I researched and found some, but also thought I would include some resources for kids to read and discuss with their parents, which would help them understand God’s Word and hopefully get them excited about it. I also threw in some quality videos.
Our duty to our children is clear: “Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). I hope parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and those involved with children’s ministry find this list helpful. What could be more important?
7 Ways of Teaching the Bible to Children: Includes 25 Lessons, Plus Activities That Satisfy Different Learning Styles.
Leading Little Ones to God: A Child’s Book of Bible Teachings, emphasizes the role of parent and teachers.
The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name, by Sally Lloyd Jones, my favorite book of Bible stories for kids.
The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes: this is by Ken Taylor, who Nanci and I knew and loved. He was the founder of Tyndale House, one of my two major publishers. This is a classic, long-time bestseller among children’s Bible stories, now updated.
The Biggest Story: Kevin DeYoung has written a delightful book that both young and old will enjoy. It is a small treatment of a huge theme—God’s drama of redemption, centered on Jesus Christ. Kevin’s words are fresh, engaging, playful, and biblical. Many Bible storybooks offer pearls without a string. This one puts the pearls on a string—the right one. The result is magnificent and memorable.
The Gospel Story Bible: I know and love Marty Machowski, a pastor with a heart for children.
Kingstone Comics published two of my graphic novels, and they have some great stuff for older kids. They do cover some more challenging aspects of the biblical narrative, so it would all depend on what you think is age appropriate, and I would recommend looking them over first before giving them to your kids.
The Kingstone Bible Trilogy: a very large and well done 3-volume series. Violence is depicted where there is violence in the Bible, but it’s usually not gratuitous. There is an occasional image that I think could’ve been toned down for kids, but that’s a matter of taste, and kids aren’t their only audience, so people in their teens 20s and older adults really can benefit from these. (I was raised in an unbelieving home and loved comics, so that format appeals to me.) This big set is a terrific resource for families where they could be reading and looking at stories and choose in advance which ones they think are best. It is very biblically oriented. A southern Baptist pastor, Art Ayris, heads up the whole project, and has become a good friend of mine. The two graphic novels I did, at least parts of both, are in this big Bible set as are most of the other products they produce. If you get this set, you get a lot of the things that they sell in smaller forms.
101 Questions about the Bible and Christianity: Another great Kingstone product. It is essentially apologetics for the young, but also for the old. I recently gave it to two of my teenage grandsons. Again, some of it is too advanced for really young kids but parts of it would be helpful to upper elementary school kids. You just have to choose what questions apply to them and read in advance and decide when you want to share it with them. (If you have younger children, trust me, your kids will be teenagers before you blink your eye! My daughters are 43 and 41, and it seems like yesterday they were elementary school, and the day before that they were born!)
The Bible Project: an amazing and ever-growing collection of relatively short videos, most in the five to seven-minute range, some of which are very appropriate for children, and all of which are great for adults. Nanci and I used to watch these together in the evenings and talk about them. It’s a fun way to learn as a couple, and as the kids get older, for the whole family together. Also, your Bible study group could use them where you say, “Let’s listen to this video or these two videos this week and talk about them when we get together,” or you could just simply watch them and talk about them together on the spot.
The Gospel Project: This is a systematic curriculum for teaching the Bible to kids both young and older, often used in churches. Trevin Wax supervises this as managing editor; he’s a good friend and rock solid. I’ve endorsed several of his books. Here’s an interview with Trevin where he explains what it’s all about.
Tim Challies, a friend I deeply appreciate, lays out the distinctives of The Gospel Project in an interesting and informative article. This may be the single best thing for use in churches. Here’s one of their videos for kids on Jesus and the Samaritan woman. For sure it sticks closely with the text of Scripture. The Gospel Project for PreSchoolers is just one of their many products. This video explains it.
Route 66 Book: The 66 Books of the Bible for Kids, Grades 2-5 .
“What’s in the Bible?” is a fun and excellent resource for kids from Phil Vischer, who created Veggie Tales but went much deeper with this.
Some more recommendations of resources are on this page.
Do you know about the Christian children’s video subscription called yippee? It has all kinds of videos and stuff for kids. Not all Bible teaching, but good stuff.
Doorposts: If you haven’t seen this resource, you might want to check it out.
Here are some resources my assistant Amy recommends:
Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware: encourages and enables parents of children 6-14 years of age to teach through the whole of systematic theology at a level their children can understand.
Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers (series) by Joey Allen: The most foundational teachings of the Christian faith are presented in the Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers series at a level preschool and elementary children can understand.
Big Theology for Little Hearts (Board book series by Devon and Jessica Provencher): Each book in the Big Theology for Little Hearts series introduces a big idea from the Bible with concise definitions and engaging illustrations to help young minds gain a foundational understanding of God’s word.
My First Books and More by Carine MacKenzie: a year’s worth and more of Bible readings, devotions, and memory verses.
And my thanks to Ashley Roethlisberger who gave me these great suggestions:
Our kids love listening to Adventures in Odyssey at bedtime or in the car. (Some of them do get pretty intense though, so we had to stop them at bedtime.)
They also enjoyed listening to The 7 Habits of Happy Kids in the car.
Their favorite Bible stories on video by far are The Superbook Show.
My newest source for teaching children a biblical worldview is Foundation Worldview. They have many resources, including 20-minute videos for children 4-8 years old that my kids have enjoyed and that give us practical things to discuss throughout the week.
Finally, my thanks to reader Wendy McCloy for suggesting Danika Cooley's website: Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible - Thinking Kids (thinkingkidsblog.org)
I watched Danika's interview with Focus on the Family. Great stuff! She also has a prolife book for children titled Wonderfully Made, which she reads online.
May we, as parents and grandparents, have a passion for the things of God and for teaching our children what will truly matter for eternity!
“Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh” (Joshua 24:15).